19 Jan FENBERG ANNOUNCES BIPARTISAN BILL TO PROTECT CONSUMER ENERGY RIGHTS
Denver, Co — Today, State Senator Steve Fenberg, D-Boulder, announced bipartisan legislation to protect Colorado consumers’ right to install electrical storage systems on their own property for later use or in case of outages.
As one of Senator Fenberg’s first bills to be introduced, the legislation declares that consumers “have a right to install and use electricity storage systems on their property”, and prohibits utilities from charging discriminatory and burdensome fees on those customers.
“Batteries have advanced a great deal in recent years,” said Senator Fenberg, noting the increase in storage capacity and the drop in cost for batteries. “However, Colorado consumers aren’t able to take advantage of products like the Tesla Powerwall because utilities are intentionally making it difficult and cost-prohibitive by placing unnecessary fees and charges on these customers.”
“We have lots of storage projects in the pipeline that can’t move because of unreasonable requirements. These requirements would make the equipment lose its UL certification and add $1,000s to the cost for a small system,” said Whitney Painter, owner of Buglet Solar Electric in Golden.
“Colorado consumers should have the ability to install batteries that could not only lower their utility bill every month but also serve as a backup if the power were to go out…
The use of electrical storage systems is not just cost-saving for the consumer, but it helps reduce costs for all of Colorado’s ratepayers; with less demand on the grid during peak hours of the day, the grid will become more reliable and utilities won’t need to build more expensive power plants that are only used a few hours a year during the most energy-intensive days. I look forward to discussing this pro-consumer legislation with my colleagues,” Senator Fenberg continued.
Senator Fenberg is the prime sponsor for the bill, which is being cosponsored by Senator Kevin Lundberg (R-Berthoud), Minority Leader Lucia Guzman (D-Denver), and Asst. Minority Leader Leroy Garcia (D-Pueblo).